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GetLuckySometimes

"Echo" from March 13, 1999

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1 hour ago, Big Blue Sky said:

yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, Shelter, but fundamental issue is that most people would see them one night per tour.  (---) Key point: most people = one night per tour. 

Discuss. 

As far as I'm concerned there is nothing to discuss. I was afraid that aspect would be what people took from all of my post. It has been discussed thourougly and endlessly many years ago and I for one is done with it. What's the point in variation. Right. Conclusion, or even a minimum shared definition of what is to be discussed was never to be reached. Moving on.

So I'm sorry that was where the bate of my post ended up. I had no intention to start an old moot set list discussion, just to explain that given how Tom thought of these things in terms of an arch, I find this here '99 show to be a prime example of successful execution. I thought I mentioned, and tried my best to explain that what I was after. The fact that creating a set list (or sequencing and LP) is a difficult art that goes beyond simply tempo and/or song familiarity and preference. And to do that I ventured to provide some context, as a by product, side note, about my view on how good Tom was with these things, but how little he usually used the insights, but how great the result when he did.

I am sorry if that again put the whole discussion back to the old "should they have mixed it up every day" or "should they have played Luna" or "don't you understand that stage lights have to be programmed a decade at the time" kind of discussions. None of which was never my sentiments, or point. Not back in the day, when set lists were an alive topic here, and not now when I, in a response to MJ2LD simply tried to explain why and how I think it's more to the art of creating set lists than he and people in general think. (Since MJ2LD thinks I like this particular Filmore '99 run simply because I like the songs, which... then...  is just part of it and not even entirely true. )

Oh, well. Fear not. This's what may be called the Curse of Shelter. No matter what I say to the contrary - no, please don't drop the map, please don't pull songs from a hat, please don't change everything daily - or how much I try to discuss various theoretical aspects - like now when I really try to stress how serious and overlooked the structure itself is - I still am the one who supposedly don't understand or who just wants to get rid of the hits or whatever opinions people have put on me over the years.

Either way, this time I basically just meant to say that sequencing is a hard, difficult and at best very beautiful task. Very important. And that Tom apparently agreed, that he was really good at it and perhaps should have explored it's possibilities some more. It was meant as positive, if with a context provided and some critisism. I did not meant to bore or offend, no no no no no. Thank you. I keep trying.

And yes, they should have played Luna more often. (Just look at the "Rock Goes To College" from 1980 and awe.) :D

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6 hours ago, Shelter said:

Think about it, it's complex.

There is tempo, yes. There is also  sound, vibe, atmosphere, mood, if you will, to some extent there is lyrics. Then there is song intro characteristic, song outro characteristic, keys, arrangement...

Quite similar to the constructing/sequencing of an album (including the vastly different crafts of 2 side vinyl vs one side CD, as discussed elsewhere and else...when), yet very different for various reasons, creating functional set list "archs" is an art in its own right!

Yes all of those are factors, I was peeling back to the bone really which is tempo. It's possible to have a somber song with a fast tempo but generally speaking, if you're trying to move an audience with tender or somber or outright depressing lyrics and feeling, one usually goes for a slower tempo; would Southern Accents have worked as a Lonesome Dave? Maybe sure but it would be a different song with a different feel. 

While all those points you listed make sense, need to be considered etc. I was going for what lay underneath it all which to me, is tempo. 

Look at the Tom Petty Arch (®)Shelter.

Very scientific and carefully considered Breakdown:

Lead out the gate with something fast, transiition to something mid tempo, bring it back up with Won't Back Down, drop down to Free Fallin', maybe some more uptempo songs culminating in a large jam song, then the acoustic interlude, gospel-Learn To Fly, then the ISHKI-Runnin'...err...run and closing out with You Wreck Me and Am Girl.

A variety of moods to carry the audience along; heck, one could look at something like You Wreck Me as the microcosm of the set list itself, starts fast, gets a mellowish breakdown in the middle, then surges upward for a big finish.

It's a journey he takes the listeners on and while song key, mood, vibe all factor into it, the mechanics underneath such as it were, the gears are the tempo. And while he may not have made the set simply based on rhythm, in fact, he most likely, to make a guess, factored in all of what you noted above, but underneath it all, there's basically three variations of songs or song types, my whole "fast/slow midtempo statement." Which was I think at the moment I wrote it, less about the construction of the set and more the base limitations or format with rock-n-roll. 

I don't really think it's limiting though, but more of a fun challenge. Luna and Breakdown are slower tempo songs but each one does something different, moves the listener in a different way and so on. And that's where as you said, key change, mood, vibe come into play.

6 hours ago, Shelter said:

But, I realize that between an artist's major hits, the audience member's (or performer's) personal preferences and hunger for rare songs, this is an aspect most overlooked by a lot of people. But I would still suggest it's real and serious and something most acts do consider more or less. Also, it's interesting.

I agree, heck it's probably why so many of my posts touch on the subject in one form or another...! It is interesting, because unlike an album which is set for the ages such as it is, a set list has potential to be something more, not just a fun night with varying moods and tempos bringing people up and down and up again but seeing what different combinations of songs can elicit different feelings and even highlight different perhaps unknown or subtler aspects of themselves; that's aside from the fun wordplay to be had as well, such as throwing You Wreck Me before U Get Me High or the never paired Kings Highway/King's Road. But there's a whole other approaches and it's possible that the artist is trying to say something unique that night with a different set.

6 hours ago, Shelter said:

But he became so satisfied with what worked so well for him, that he went with it more or less permanently, and not only in terms of arch shape, then, so to speak, but also in fairly exact content.*

 Yes, and that's what some of us on here rallied against, moot as it turned out to be, ha ha! 

cheers

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4 hours ago, Big Blue Sky said:

Key point: most people = one night per tour. 

Discuss. 

Discuss? Ha ha, more like beat into the ground many times over. A quick search of the forum should deliver quite the bounty (if one views it that way) of many a spirited set list discussion. 

Playing a concert doesn't have to be a locked in experience, here's a list of songs and with barely any changes, they're going to play it every night over and over. With simple rock songs and by simple I mean they are not challenging to play for most skilled musicians (though the nuances may not be replicated, hence why some covers sound off) one could learn all sorts of deep cuts and pull them back onstage.

Why? If most people only go to one show? For artistic fullfillment if nothing else. There was a potential bigger money draw if TPATH had developed a live reputation like Phish or something with more people traveling to see them, or going to both nights of a show or what have you so from a $ point of view they could've made even more had that been the goal. But that's a side effect, for myself, I'd have enjoyed opening up bootleg shows and seeing a wide variety of songs and performances and styles to enjoy rather than having to scrape around in search of the one off songs they played, knowing that after Mojo the end of the show will be: ISHKI-Refugee-Runnin, etc.

I think for a musician determined not to repeat themselves from album to album, it was a shame he didn't take the same approach to the concerts. Just that Mike would call a set of shows "Free from Free Fallin'" should say it all really.

While it's selfish of me to want them to have played more deep cuts, I also think it's more of what the band would've enjoyed. There's a certain order to most things, businesses, careers, occupations where one must do things in a certain way to maximize productivity and be efficient.

But a rock concert is a chance for a wonderful liberation on stage, both in musical presentation, jammy, improv and such and what songs are played each night. That they seemed to enjoy playing residencies so much and often filled, if not with a plethora of deep cuts than at least some and covers they enjoyed playing instead of being stuffed with hits, I think shows where their sympathy lay when it came to this despite for whatever reason Tom chose to keep them to a rigid approach for their regular tours.

Red Rocks alone on the last tour shows how the energy changed on stage after the rain, with Benmont leading them into a jam/cover and Tom playing Swingin'.

cheers

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4 hours ago, Big Blue Sky said:

Unless the point of creating set lists is to keep band & crew from being so bored by a rigid set list that people are smacking their heads against walls. 

Definitely too! Hey, just cause we've decimated the topic doesn't mean I wouldn't want to hear your take on the sets or Tom's approach or your perception of his approach, how before a tour he'd say one thing in an interview and deliver something else, etc.

Were you happy with the sets? Did you catch them live? More than once a tour? Have at it! 

If you want...

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2 hours ago, Shelter said:

(Since MJ2LD thinks I like this particular Filmore '99 run simply because I like the songs, which... then...  is just part of it and not even entirely true. )

It's more I believe there's indefinable reasons, taste really that things boil down to and at that wonderful ineffable state one can't really argue, nor one should really. The songs from this ('99) show elicit a different overall mood, cumulative feeling,so it's more than just the songs themelves, well, I understand that as best as one can I suppose. I hope this in some way mitigates "the curse".

cheers

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2 hours ago, Shelter said:

The fact that creating a set list (or sequencing and LP) is a difficult art that goes beyond simply tempo and/or song familiarity and preference.

And there's a "wealth" of discussions on this as well, the most recent being Let's Make Southern Accents Great again. I love the flow of FMF and Hypnotic Eye, perfect records to my ear, so yes, there's a whole art to choosing songs to include on a record and how they're sequenced, I'm sure much the way a talented author will during the final edit, carefully consider what words to include or cut, the band (or Tom) carefully mulled over a song order for maximum impact.

Going from American Dream Plan B to Shadow People is a deliberate intent, Tom's coda the perfect ending to the record and such as it turned out to be, their recording career. A final note of hope fitting for a man who sometimes tried to champion musically at least, the weaker, the dreamers, the lost and failed.

cheers

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6 minutes ago, Shelter said:

Either way, this time I basically just meant to say that sequencing is a hard, difficult and at best very beautiful task. Very important. And that Tom apparently agreed, that he was really good at it and perhaps should have explored it's possibilities some more. It was meant as positive, if with a context provided and some critisism. I did not meant to bore or offend, no no no no no. Thank you. I keep trying. 

6 hours ago, Shelter said:

Splendid responses from both of you. Thank you both so much. 😀

It's lot more complex. I hear what you're both saying & this gives me much to consider. Awww sorry I hurt your feelings sticking my head in there with a beginner level comment. Curse? No. Blessing? Yes.

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^ No feelings hurt. No worries. Just felt that my "arch" point ran the immediate  risk of being tweaked out of shape and intent, like these things often do, dragged into the age old set list discussions of why they should mix it up or why they didn't or even shouldn't. All that is all very much too late, and also very worn out discussions to me. Most of all it's very secondary and rather indirect to my points above, about the concept of flow, transition and sequence. No need to go there, as i see it, is all. Sorry if it seemed like I snapped at you. All these sharks are making me nervous... 

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 Side story (linked to idea of flow). Saw a singer/songwriter at a big venue, all very slick & set list was probably set in advance, where singer mentioned he's playing in a pub next night. So I rearranged work, queued, was one of the 30 or so allowed in. He strolls out, acoustic guitar, sits on bar stool., starts playing.

alas, one of the others in crowd was drunk & loud. Settled into pattern of calling out a) "We love you" b) "Play this song" ie equivalent of telling TP to play Free Fallin c) howls of delight while singer was singing. After 2 songs, the singer gives him & his friends the eye. Says "this is an intimate venue & I'm hoping for something special by exploring a few songs I can't play in our main show. When we were getting started in pubs like this,  we played for drunks & I gotta say one of rewards of the years on the road is being able to deal with people like you.

We all turn & stare.

Drunk fan bellows out: "love you". 

Singer puts acoustic on bar & says "Mate, I feel bad for you. You're interrupting us all. You can't stay."

Us: "Yeah..."

undignified scuffle as drunk super-fan tries to stay while his friends & pub bouncers slowly pull him out the door. We all use the opportunity to refuel our glasses & then away we went with the singer / songwriter jamming, experimenting, just playing whatever he wanted. 

 

Even though I have gone off his music, it's still one of peak music experiences. It vies for first place with when a cello piece made me collapse into weeping & when he heard about this later, the cello-player (friend of friend) was delighted.

.:wub:

 

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True story: I knew a guy once - let's call him Jan, who didn't have the first clue about these things. He made me a few mix tapes. Some cool songs, some not so much. Horrible order, no flow, no smooth transitions of ideas, no nothing... In fact I loved a few of those songs, but I never listened to the whole thing after the first troubled attempt. 

Then I knew this other guy - let's say he was Dean - that was quite the genius. He could make the most amazing mix tapes, of the most abstract or even absurd themes, or with no theme at all. Always seemingly effortless, with a flow that dreams are made of. The transitions at times even magical, like it was always meant to be, even if just invented the tracklist a-b-c, and it was hard to stop listening. Even music that i normally didn't like was fun or at least interesting this way. The good stuff that was introduced was positively capturing and even spellbinding.

I hope everyone gets to experience the difference described. And if interested, invest some time into the how that can be kind of ponderings. 

Then, after that, add the concept of putting these, say 20 songs together in real time, live on stage, with your own band, with the possibilities of not only picking finnished songs, but to adjust the performances themselves, creating the music, arranging it, with an audience response to play against more over... This will, of course, if done just in the most semi serious of ways, adding several new and fascinating dimensions to the already quite difficult art of the mix tape.

Analogy ends.

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20 hours ago, Big Blue Sky said:

Singer puts acoustic on bar & says "Mate, I feel bad for you. You're interrupting us all. You can't stay."

That's a shame, I wonder if the next day he sobered up and reflected on what he missed out on. I don't understand getting drunk at a concert, enjoy the music, go for drinks after. Why risk missing something amazing by being in the bathroom or a beer line. 

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On January 27, 2019 at 7:56 AM, Shelter said:

And that Tom apparently agreed, that he was really good at it and perhaps should have explored it's possibilities some more.

Yes, moot now but yes.

On January 27, 2019 at 7:56 AM, Shelter said:

And yes, they should have played Luna more often.

Yeah, again, glad they played it at all. Would've been fitting on the Full Moon Fever tour. Would've been a heck of an opener, a dark stage, moody blue lighting, Tom and Benmont playing the song, some moody drums from Stan, then into something fast.

22 hours ago, Shelter said:

Ok then. As long as you realize it's a lot more complex. :D

Let's leave it.  

And the shark swims back into the depths, bloody and scarred.

 

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20 hours ago, Shelter said:

He could make the most amazing mix tapes, of the most abstract or even absurd themes, or with no theme at all. Always seemingly effortless, with a flow that dreams are made of.

Nice. I've received my share of mix tapes and later mix-cds, and appreciated the thought put into them. Fortunately none that were badly formed.

And I remember obsessing over making some for others, figuring out what songs go together, how the end of one transitions to the next, the flow of tempo, the impact of the lyrics, do they reflect on the recipient or say something about me, both or neither? Some songs because they were silly, others for their serious intent, fun to finally hit upon the perfect combination and finally sharing it with someone.

Forgot all about doing that, the fun of pushing play and not knowing what I was about to hear, even disliking some songs only to later learn to appreciate them. 

cheers

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20 hours ago, Shelter said:

say 20 songs together in real time, live on stage, with your own band, with the possibilities of not only picking finnished songs, but to adjust the performances themselves, creating the music, arranging it, with an audience response to play against more over

There could be musicians out there who are terrible at this but I figure most are good at coming up with a set list for a tour covering a variety of moods while factoring things like guitar tunings, energy etc. The problem it seemed to me was less the ability to craft a good set than becoming a prisoner to it over the years. But I'll let it lay there. :)

I'm glad the '99 show is one of those noteworthy concerts, where the songs, flow, moods and vibe come through for you on the recording. 

I'm glad the tapers are so generous over the years with these concerts.

cheers

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Well, I haven't thought about this much, as is obvious, but using a random song sequence / shuffle doesn't end well for me.  Even if it's drawing on, say, all songs by one artist.

As for the drunk fan in the pub, oh yeah! I bet his friends reminded him occasionally, since some left with him. Good friendship protocol as, if he's so drunk that he's heckling his musical idol, he's probably too drunk to be on out his own on the mean streets at night. But having to leave - could strain the friendship. 

vvvvvvv hahaha this is the one when TP tells the more virile people in the crowd to SHUT UP. Love this. Though - gasp - Luna doesn't do much for me & I quickly add that I'm just mentioning it in passing, not trying to annoy Luna fans.  (Sending out the shark-spotting drones over the ocean). I'm open to idea of Luna appealing to me more another time.  

  • At the piano - did TP sit onstage and play piano / organ / any other keyboards for any other songs? I'm going with a hesitant no... 
11 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

 

 

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Wow, a lot of intriguing stuff going on here!

Shelter, as usual, I must agree on your notion of constructing set lists as a high art form, with Tom "only" making use of one shade of its wide and varied spectrum.

On ‎1‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 6:21 PM, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

It seemed to me that while Steve cut back on fills and such he hit harder than Stan or his drums were mic'd differently. Well, Benmont did say he drove the band so maybe that added to it. I think the band did get heavier and less jangly as time went on and I like that sound that emerged. The band that played the Echo tour despite being the same group minus drummer from ITGWO tour had become heavier. They moved away from what Benmont called the "chamber music" approach as well. Songs seemed to be more riff/chord based and everyone following that versus somehow coming together and finding space for unique moments, that unique sound they had from the very beginning till Wildflowers. If they still did that it was in a more subtle way, in this way they seemed like most other rock bands. 

How much of this, if you agree with it, could be based on Tom's songwriting growth freedom from Full Moon Fever and Wildflowers and the diminishing impact of Stan is up for debate or at least discussion. Who knows?

But it seems like they gradually became heavier as part of this songwriting evolution on Tom's part or as a side effect, with Mojo really pushing them into another direction. How could they not be heavier after that record? 

In the live setting I think it fit and I enjoyed it. Whether or not they were going to end up there, they often seemed like they really wanted to be a midtempo groovy swamp kind of blues/cover band with rock mixed in and had there been more residencies I'd think there'd be more of this, especially if they'd formally retired from the big tours. No big tours, no need to satisfy a crowd there for the hits, the residencies, be they '97, '99 or '13 all have this in common.

cheers

That's a pretty good analysis, I think. Quite accurate, actually.

I get a bit melancholy about their moving away from the big jangle. They got bluesier, because, I guess, Tom felt the blues more and more the older he got. As a band, they always tried to get closer and closer to the song, playing it without adorning it... playing a song with as little embellishment as you can with a six piece band. Hence, maybe, their getting "heavier".

Tom's inclination towards the blues will have influcenced his songwriting as well.

And with Stan, I don't know if they could have gotten to where they were in the end with him. He probably was too loose, too swinging and freewheeling in his drumming for that kind of approach. He didn't have any fun playing on ITGWO, and that was clearly the direction Tom wanted the drums to take.

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3 hours ago, Big Blue Sky said:

vvvvvvv hahaha this is the one when TP tells the more virile people in the crowd to SHUT UP. Love this.

Me too... for some reason, I find it exremely funny. :lol: Maybe I'm only glad I wasn't the one who got shut up. But it's also the discrepancy between the sensitive, silent, low-key Luna and Tom's getting all worked up trying to play it.

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